Keep Your Eye On The Camel

brick bible-500wi

from the Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith

So I encountered someone who was Christsplaining "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" on the InterWebs and thot oh hell NO it would be a good topic for a blog post.

Their Christplanation was that Jesus wasn’t saying rich people couldn’t go to heaven, because a camel going through the eye of a needle is obviously an impossibility.[1]

Instead, what Jesus was referring to was a special little gate called “The Eye Of The Needle” because it was so narrow, and that for a camel to pass through, it would first need to be unburdened and then get down on its knees and shuffle in.

For some peculiar reason this interpretation is extremely popular with people who desire s4!tloads of money.[2]

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” is a very complex metaphor. Let me explain it to you:

 "A camel" = a great big fncking animal

"the eye of a needle" = that leeeetle tiny hole at the end of the thin thin thin pointy metal thing you use to sew cloth together

"a rich man" = anybody who has two shirts when somebody else has none

"the kingdom of heaven" = to be in communion with God both here & now and the hereafter

Jesus was fond of using ridiculous hyperbole to prove his points. F'r instance, "why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" literally meant people were walking around with six foot long weaver's beams in their eyes while criticizing their neighbors for having a speck of dust in theirs. Obviously a physical impossibility, but Christ wasn't interested in telling something literally factual but rather spiritually true

Likewise "if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out" meaning literally gouge your eyes out rather than let them lead you into temptation. I don't think Jesus expected anybody to take that as a serious command, but rather that we should remove from our lives anything that might cause us to harm another person or allow another to come to harm.

So the point he was getting across re camel / needle / rich man was this: If you are more interested in lining your own pocket than in seeing justice is done, you aren't going to hell…

…you’re already there.

 “The Christian life is not about pleasing God the finger-shaker and judge.  It is not about believing now or being good now for the sake of heaven later.  It is about entering a relationship in the present that begins to change everything now.  Spirituality is about this process: the opening of the heart to the God who is already here.” -- Marcus J. Borg , The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion To A More Authentic Contemporary Faith




[1]  There is an alternate Christplanation where “camel” is a miscopying of the Aramic word for “rope” and there’s a certain appeal to that insofar as one can see a similarly between a thread and a rope.  However, that Christplanation also misses the point that it’s fracking impossible.

[2]  They don’t actually have to possess s4!tloads of money, just desire to possess s4!tloads of money.  Check out Matthew 5:27-28.

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